Relax in a tropical paradise and let the lush greens soothe your mind…
Madagascar is a botanical wonderland, with more than 13,000 native species including 900 orchids, 200 palms and 130 aloes. The island is so large, and has such a wide diversity of habitats and climates, that each corner of Madagascar has its own special community of plants. Anjajavy lies within the Dry Forest community in the Northwest, and boasts world-famous trees such as self-destructing Tahina Palms, scarlet-flowered Flame Trees, Banyan Figs and colossal Grey Baobabs.
For succulent plant enthusiasts, there is much to interest you at Anjajavy. Aloes, Euphorbs and Triangle vines grow upon the jagged limestone tsingy formations, Madagascar Vanilla drapes from the trees, and watch out for the spiny trunks of Pachypodiums! The Reserve’s flora has not yet been fully inventoried, and there may still be exciting discoveries to be made!
What’s the name of that strange flower
with fleshy leaves stuffed full of seeds?
A stroll around the Oasis Garden will transport you to a tranquil world filled with gorgeous green foliage, rippling water and birdsong. Even the lemurs take a siesta here! Fan-leaved palms and bamboos sway in the breeze, soft ferns and papyrus quiver as you walk by, and umbrella-shaped trees offer shade from the tropical sun.
Amongst the myriad hues of green are flashes of colour. In season, the Golden-rain Tree drips with flowers of sunshine-yellow, complementing the pink Wild Ginger, red Jungle Flame, purple Water Lilies and many more. It is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious cup of tea, or a romantic candlelit dinner.
The Reserve protects a large area of mangroves and meandering tidal canals. These forests are a formidable tangle of roots, deep mud and swiftly changing tides, but they are also a haven for wildlife. Hundreds of fish, shellfish, insects and birds rely on them for food and shelter. Even some mammals use mangroves, such as the Madagascar Flying Fox, the island’s largest fruit bat. The forest also provides useful services for humans too; the arching roots stabilise the soft soils and protect the coastline from erosion and severe storms, as well as safeguarding tonnes of carbon locked away deep in the salty mud.
The best way to explore the mangrove forest is by boat. You could take a relaxing sunset cruise: watch Flying Foxes soar off into the dusk, herons descend to their roosts, and the local fishermen returning home with their catch, whilst enjoying a sundowner on the deck. Or for the more adventurous, why not discover the mangroves in a kayak? Plot your own course, paddle at your own pace and get even closer to wildlife!